Biomedical Sciences ETDs

Publication Date



Pancreatic juice was collected from rabbits treated for seven days with reserpine and from untreated controls. In the treated animals the volume of pancreatic juice secreted, the flow rate and the bicarbonate output were all significantly less, while the total protein concentration, the amylase activity and the calcium concentration of the juice were all significantly elevated. This elevation in the protein concentration was due to increased amounts of protein and decreased amounts of water. Histological sections of the pancreas of treated animals revealed the presence of large amounts of PAS-positive material within the duct lumen. Since these secretory and morphological alterations are present in individuals with cystic fibrosis (CF), these similarities support the use of the reserpine treated rabbit for investigating this disease. In treated animals the bicarbonate concentration of the pancreatic juice was elevated at every given flow rate, indicating that the normal mechanism of bicarbonate reabsorption may be altered in these animals The pancreatic juice of treated rabbits was hypertonic, indicating that a barrier to the normal osmotic movement of water into this secretion may be present. This barrier may be due to the excess mucus which is present in the pancreas of these animals. During spontaneous secretion, the juice of treated animals contained a larger percentage of calcium “bound” to non-enzymatic proteins than did the juice of controls. During secretin stimulation both enzymes and non-enzymatic proteins were washed from the pancreatic ductal system of control animals. In treated animals the non-enzymatic proteins appeared to be retained within the pancreatic ducts. Since pancreatic function in both CF patients and reserpinized rabbits are similar these results indicate that it may be the failure to wash out the non-enzymatic proteins from the pancreatic ducts that leads to the alterations in pancreatic function in CF.

Document Type




Degree Name

Biomedical Sciences

Level of Degree


Department Name

Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program

First Committee Member (Chair)

William Raleigh Galey Jr.

Second Committee Member

Albert Ratner

Third Committee Member

Shirley A. Murphy